LePage fights

Gov. Paul LePage seems to have no filters, no class and certainly no diplomacy when dealing with issues and people. He bullies and bulldozes each day of this term. He insults author Stephen King, speaks with arrogance against Attorney General Janet Mills and now humiliates the military career of Brig. Gen. James Campbell.

No important business will locate in Maine with this governor’s attitude. How much longer must we deal with this? Oh, right, three years. God help us.

Sharon Weber


Women’s health care

Maine has the chance to join 30 other states this year by passing LD 319, which would provide access to reproductive health care, including cancer screenings and birth control to more than 13,000 low-income women who otherwise are unable to access basic health care. The measure also would save the state millions of dollars in costs associated with unintended pregnancy. Right now, Maine spends about $11 million per year on the health care costs alone for unintended pregnancy.

Unfortunately, I am one of these low-income women. I recently lost my MaineCare benefits and cannot afford student health insurance. Maine is one of the few states that chose not expand Medicaid coverage, so I fall into the gap for affordable health care and therefore am uninsured. Every day I have to hope I won’t become ill or require any medical attention because I simply cannot afford it. This bill, however, would make it possible for me to have access to reproductive health services, which would take one worry off of my mind. With this bill, I can afford birth control so I can continue my education without fear of an unintended pregnancy getting in my way.

For women like me all over the state, reproductive health and access to affordable health care is an essential part of our economic security and opportunity. I hope my state Sen. James Dill and my state Rep. Aaron Frey will see the value of LD 319, support the measure and stand up for Maine women.

Samantha Brown


Israeli nukes

After much research and many denials by the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., that Israel had any nuclear weapons, the U.S. State Department told me Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, enough fissile material to manufacture 200 more and 200 missiles to deliver the warheads.

Iran does not have enough enriched uranium for one bomb.

While the recent Iranian nuclear agreement, involving the United States, France, England, Germany, China and Russia is far from ideal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has successfully co-opted John Boehner and his Republican renegades to reach across continents in well-orchestrated attempts to subvert and direct U.S. foreign policy. Netanyahu opposes the agreement, demanding Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Netanyahu’s vociferous position toward Iran is his successful diversion from the much more difficult task of working together with Palestinians toward a truly peaceful co-existence and Palestine’s right to exist. Most members of Congress have been willing to go along with Netanyahu.

Until nuclear weapons are eliminated, the world cannot survive and thrive in peace on earth.

Kendall Merriam


Protect human rights

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts that countries have a joint responsibility to protect human rights when one state commits gross rights violations.

But it isn’t nation-states alone that bear the responsibility to uphold human rights. It also is the responsibility of businesses. Transnational corporations operating in countries that fail to uphold international law cannot simply follow local laws; these businesses must “avoid contributing to adverse human rights impacts,” as a 2013 United Nations report states.

This United Nations report exposes that the real estate corporation Re/Max illegally profits from the sale and rental of homes in the Israeli military-occupied West Bank.

Re/Max International provides its name, as well as training, technological resources and marketing to its franchises, and in return, it earns revenue from each home sale.

More than 600,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in violation of Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The settlements restrict Palestinian freedom of movement, obstructing farmers’ access to their agricultural land. Selling property in the Israeli settlements, the United Nations report states, “contributes to the commission of the international crime of transferring citizens of the occupying power onto occupied territory.”

Mainers can now find a home to buy in an illegal settlement such as Ma’aleh Adumim by visiting global.remax.com. Maine’s Re/Max offices can speak out against assisting illegal settlement growth by petitioning Re/Max’s CEO to cut ties with the sale and rental of Israeli settlement properties.

Carolyn Coe


Cruelty to animals

While cruelty to other humans is morally evil, so is the cruelty to animals. Walking in the Maine woods, I have seen many skittish bears. It is best not to come between an animal and their young ones, as I almost did between a female bear and a young cub. Bears are not the only ones who will protect their young ones.

Once while hiking in Baxter State Park, a partridge came running after me. I was unaware that I had gone between her and her young chicks. Animals must be hunted without cruelty; without the use of traps. Bears and other animals caught in traps suffer for long periods of time before dying.This is cruel and inhumane.

Irvin Dube


Presidential disrespect

I’m appalled at the disrespect towards our president. He’s been called a chimpanzee, doesn’t love his country, not an American citizen, not a Christian. Luckily, for those critics, we live in a nation of free speech. Some countries wouldn’t tolerate these comments.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s quote, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President [Barack] Obama to be a one-term president,” suggests he didn’t have the clout he thought he had.

Are these comments racist in nature?

Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, we, as Americans, should be above these outrageous remarks — it cheapens our image in other countries.

Estelle J. Bowden